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Call to tackle long-term unemployment

ONS labour market statistics, published this morning for the period January to March 2020, show the beginning of the decline the jobs market as the lockdown took hold. However the situation since then has changed dramatically, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) has said.

The more telling number is of people claiming benefits related to unemployment which increased by 69% between March and April to nearly 2.1 million people, according to the ONS.

The REC’s Report on Jobs, covering the more recent period 7-24 April, showed the quickest decline in permanent and temporary staff placements since 2009, offering an insight into how the jobs market has come under stress during the pandemic.

Tom Hadley, Director of Policy at the Recruitment and Employment Confederation said:

“The labour market statistics from March are from a different world. The inevitable impact of the lockdown on the UK labour market can be seen in the REC’s more recent Report on Jobs which shows the quickest drop in permanent and temporary staff placements since the global financial crash. Sectors like retail, hospitality and construction have been hit especially hard, while sectors like logistics and healthcare have seen greater demand for staff. The recruitment industry is working with government and other bodies to place staff into key worker roles quickly and help the country through the coronavirus crisis.”

“The capacity for our economy to recover quickly is definitely there, with employers’ medium-term hiring intentions looking positive in the REC’s latest JobsOutlook report. The big jobs battle is against a longer-term unemployment crisis. Working in partnership with the experts in the UK’s recruitment and staffing sector, to advise jobseekers and find them new roles will help the economy bounce back quicker. We are ready to help.”

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